Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pizzeria Il Monte

Address: Via IV Giugno, 2, Serravalle, Rep. S. Marino. 0549901302.

Review: We found Pizzeria il Monte after a day of sightseeing in San Marino. In fact, we were pressed for time because we seeing an opera in about an hour, and we needed some place close to the venue. Il Monte fit the bill.

I began with the crespelle radicchio tartufato (crespelle with radicchio and truffles).

Crespelle are crepe-like pastas stuffed with something and smothered in something else. This iteration was filled with spinach and ricotta and probably a little parmigiano. (This is the classic filling for crespelle alla fiorentina.) They came bathed in a béchamel sauce that included radicchio (a purple cabbage primarily grown in Treviso) and black truffles. The pasta was soft and wispy, while the filling was gave the dish an anchor and nice body. The béchamel was beautiful. It had just the right amount of truffle taste, and the radicchio was pleasantly bitter and a little crunchy. Really, an enjoyable dish to eat.

Next up was the scallopine ai porcini.

The scaloppine were fork-tender pieces of veal smothered in a cream-based sauce imbued with porcini. Veal is an obviously mild meat, so the porcini really came through in a good way. I could have used a little lemon to cut through the cream sauce, but even without it, this was worth every penny spent.

And then there was dessert. I had the torta di frutta, and my wife and friend has the panna cotta.

The torta had a spong-cake crust, which is certainly different than the standard crostata crust. Having tried both types of crusts with a torta di frutta, I think the sponge-cake works better, and it ended up being my favorite component of this dish. It was light and fluffy and moist, with just the right amount of sugar. The cream portion of the torta, on the other hand, was stiff and somewhat dry. The fruit was seasonal and ripe, but it couldn't save the cream. In the end, it was okay.

My wife and friend's panna cotta (i.e., cooked cream stiffened with gelatin) was a disappointment. The panna cotta itself was over gelatinized and very stiff. The toppings were industrialized toppings from a bottle. Honestly, just skip the desserts and eat some more food.

So, like most places, Il Monte had some high and low points. If given a chance though, I'd be back tomorrow for the crespelle.

Rating: 6.5/10 (5/10 is average). The desserts really lowered the score.

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